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World Cup: From Al Khor to Lusail - 2022 World Cup stadium guide

2021-11-25 19:00:55 990

The 2022 World Cup is now less than a year away and with 13 teams having already booked their place in Qatar next winter, we have looked at the eight stadiums that will be hosting the 64 matches at the finals.



A total of five cities will host World Cup matches, with four of the eight stadiums located in Qatar's capital city, Doha.

Lusail, Al Khor, Al Rayyan and Al Wakrah are the other cities that will host matches in what promises to be the most compact World Cup in history given the longest distance between any of the two stadia is around 65km.

The logistics of which stadiums will host which group matches will not be known until after the draw for the finals is made, this is so organisers can choose optimal kick-off times to suit viewers from all over the world, as well as supporters that will be in Qatar.

The only location that has been confirmed for the group stage is for the opening match, but we do know where every knockout game will be played, including the final which is scheduled to take place on 18th December, 2022.


Lusail Iconic Stadium - 80,000

Like many of the venues for the 2022 World Cup, the Lusail Iconic Stadium has been built specifically for the finals and it will also be the biggest of the eight stadiums, boasting a capacity of 80,000.

Given it is the largest stadium, it is no surprise the venue has been chosen to host the final, as well as nine other fixtures, including one match apiece in the last 16, quarter-finals and semi-finals.

The venue was only officially opened earlier this month and following the conclusion of the World Cup it is expected to be reconfigured into a 20,000-seat stadium, while other parts of the surrounding facilities will be converted into community spaces.


Al Bayt Stadium - 60,000

The second biggest stadium at the finals will be the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor which can hold up to 60,000 supporters and will undoubtedly be full when it hosts the opening game of the World Cup, which will involve the hosts.

As well as the opening match, the Al Bayt Stadium will also host a match in the round of 16, as well as one quarter-final and one semi-final.

Like the Lusail Stadium, the venue is also set to be reconfigured after the World Cup, with the capacity being reduced to 32,000, while the excess seating will be donated to other countries or used when Qatar hosts the Asian Games in 2030.


Education City Stadium - 45,350

The biggest of the World Cup venues located in Doha, the Education City Stadium, already has experience of hosting a major football event despite only being officially opened in February 2020.

The stadium was used as one of the venues for the 2020 FIFA Club World Cup, hosting four matches in total, including the final as a Benjamin Pavard goal helped Bayern Munich to a 1-0 victory over Tigres.

Education City looks set to stage several group matches, although only two knockout fixtures will take place at the venue - one last 16 tie and a quarter-final contest.


Ahmed bin Ali Stadium - 40,740

The Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan is one of two stadiums that dates back prior to Qatar winning the rights to host the World Cup, although the original stadium, which was built in 2003 and held a capacity of 21,282, was knocked down in 2015.

In its place, a brand new stadium of the same name has been built and holds almost double the capacity of its predecessor, while it will be used to host group matches, as well as a last 16 contest at the World Cup.

The inauguration of the new stadium took place in 2020 and like the Education City Stadium, it was used as one of the venues for the 2020 FIFA Club World Cup, hosting Bayern's 2-0 victory over Al Ahly in the semi-finals.


Khalifa International Stadium - 40,000

The oldest and most well known of the eight venues, the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha was opened in 1975 and has hosted several big sporting events in recent years, including the World Athletics Championships and FIFA Club World Cup in 2019.

The venue has twice undergone significant redevelopment, most recently in 2017, while it is also the regular home stadium used by the Qatar national football team.

Perhaps surprisingly, the Khalifa is only being used for two knockout matches at the World Cup, a last 16 tie and the largely overlooked third-place playoff.


Al Thumama Stadium - 40,000

Another of the Doha-based venues is the Al Thumama Stadium, which was officially opened in October 2021 and is located, handily for supporters, near the Hamad International Airport.

The opening match contested at the venue was the 2021 Emir Cup final between Al Sadd and Al Rayyan, which was won by the former on penalties following a 1-1 draw.

Al Thumama will host two knockout games at the World Cup, including the quarter-final tie set for 10th December.


Stadium 974 - 40,000

The final venue located in Doha is Stadium 974, which will be officially opened later this month when the United Arab Emirates and Syria go head-to-head in the 2021 Arab Cup.

Stadium 974 will also be the first stadium in the history of the World Cup that can be completely deconstructed, with the intention being for the stadium to be dismantled and reassembled at a new venue as soon as the finals are finished.

That means the last match that will take place at Stadium 974 in its current location will be a last 16 tie scheduled for 5th December, as that is the only knockout tie set to take place at the venue.


Al Janoub Stadium - 40,000

Based in Al-Wakrah, the Al Janoub Stadium was officially opened in 2019 and the first major event staged at the venue was the 2020 AFC Champions League Final between Ulsan Hyundai and Persepolis.

It is intended the stadium will become the home to Qatar Stars League club Al-Wakrah SC after the World Cup, while the capacity of the ground will also be halved following the conclusion of next year's tournament.

Al Janoub will stage several group games at the World Cup, as well as a last 16 tie scheduled for 5th December.


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Topic World Cup